Hi everyone! Welcome back to Yoga Yourself, hopefully everyone was getting their yoga on last week in the absence of blogging! In case anyone has not been keeping track, this is the second to last blog for CAS 138T :(. So, with that being said, I want try and cram in one last posture tutorial (as that is the main purpose of this blog) and a quick overview of some of imple poses that are used in many yoga class that I have not yet addressed in some of the past posts from the fall semester or earlier in the current semester.
The posture I will be talking about today is called Utthan Pristhasana, or as it is more easily said and better known by most novice yogis, Lizard Pose. Similar to Pigeon Pose, Lizard is also a hip opening posture and one of my favorite!
- Start on your hands and knees (table pose) in the middle of your mat. Per usual, take a moment to ground yourself and focus on your breathing. If it helps you can try have your exhale and inhale to be about five counts.
- From here, transition into Downward-Facing Dog. Pedal your feet and begin to warm up prior to transitioning into the next step.
- Then, as you inhale extend your right leg behind you and on the next inhale bring the leg forward and place your right foot on the outer side of your right hand (the pinky). While doing this, allow your left leg to lower onto the mat.
- At this point, make sure that your hips are square with the mat and your knee is not past your ankle. Then, begin to lower your elbows to the mat but keep you shoulders and head up. If this is not comfortable, feel free to continue the pose with your forearms extended.
- Once into the position, I would recommend holding it for up to 10 breaths to get a really good stretch.
- To remove yourself from this, place your hands on the mat and step back into Downward-Facing Dog.
- Finally, repeat this steps for the left leg.
This stretch is excellent in helping to stretch the quads and hamstrings and also helps with the alignment of your hips. For an increased challenge, you could replicate how the pose is being done in the image in which you would take the resting leg and raise it off of the mat. This will increase the depth of the stretch and intensity helping to strengthen your leg muscles even more.
Now I will be onto some of the common postures or moments that can occur during a typical yoga class. The first is generally called Mountain Pose in which you are standing erect at the front of your mat with your shoulders rolled back and core engaged. Happy Baby Pose is usually done before shavasana. In this pose done lying on your back, you raise your feet in the air, grab hold of them with your hands and sway back and forth. Shavasana is the period of time after the practice is complete that people lie still for a few minutes to recompose themselves and relax. Lastly, there is often times forward folds of bends from side to side, and, as the name implies, you move your torso in the directionality indicated.
Hopefully everyone now has a full arsenal of poses at their disposal and would be comfortable jumping into a class!